TITLE: GONE WILD
GENRE: YA Speculative Fiction
Our ship perched like a raptor on the runway, its hull muted gray in the sunlight. A shiver skated across my skin. Within an hour, my brother and I would sleep inside, cruising through space to join our parents on a planet called Stellar 3. Morphed into a space-icles.
My wrist com beeped and I jumped. 11:40. Twenty minutes until they called our names.
“This is crazy,” Auntie said. She’d drawn fake lips on her mask, and it kind-of gave me the creeps. But my own mask, sans red paint, hid my grimace.
“Stay here,” she said. “I’ll find a way to take care of you and Joe.”
“I can take care of myself,” Joe said, puffing his skinny chest.
Auntie gave him a long look.
“I can take care of myself. I’m almost nine. A man.”
Maybe he’d grow tall in our new world, like a transplanted tree. I tousled his hair, making it stick up all over his head.
Giggling, I twisted away from his hand. He'd be a thorn tree.
“What’s this?” Auntie plucked a mouse from inside his shirt. “I told you I’d care for your pets.”
“Can’t I bring a little one?” Joe pleaded. In an instant, the man fled, replaced by the lost boy who’d crawled into my bed every night since our parents had left.
“Joe, you can’t take an animal on a spaceship.” I said. “What would it eat?”
“It would eat you,” Joe said. “It would gnaw on you, the whole time we’re in space.”